Sunday, 28 June 2015

Oh, I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker With Flowers In My Hair . . . Or On My Top . . . Or Whatever . . .

Soooo, today I would like to share with you an usual project for me - a top!  I think I have only ever made one other top (which can be found here) - I am definitely a dresses person, but I am fed up of just wearing t-shirts and when I got the new Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book, I thought that the shell top would be perfect to practice my top making skills.  It is a simple pattern and with no waist darts, I thought it would be a good project to practice my FBAs on, if I needed one.

So, I present The Helmsley II (I possibly need a better name):

Please excuse resting bitch face -
I didn't know Phil was actually taking pics at this point.
Please excuse the state of my face - it has been a very stressful
week when we took these photos and that always shows on my skin :-(

I made this using some gorgeous fabric I got from Helmsley market on a recent visit - I swear I spend so much time in North Yorkshire these days I should move there.  Anyway, the fabric is a georgette-style beautifully drapey fabric.  I think it is synthetic (mostly due to the price) but I'm not 100% sure, as the selvedge has zero information on it.

Anyway, as it wasn't expensive fabric, I decided not to do an FBA (upon measuring the tissue pattern against myself, it was close enough that I thought I could wing it).  I also didn't make a toile, but just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Less resting bitch face, but also less top and more blurry

I have to say, I got lucky - it fits pretty much perfectly!!!  I am so happy with this top.  I forgot to do my standard 1" bodice lengthening - my brain has been elsewhere generally recently, but as long as I either tuck the top in or wear it with high waisted shorts, it is fine.  I will remember to lengthen the bodice next time, and for my own comfort, rather than style, I will lengthen it 2 inches - my tummy is possibly the part of me I like least now that I have got over my fear of my legs.  

Does this more comfortableness with your body come with ageing?  For years my legs did not see daylight, and as a result they are now the colour of milk bottles.  I don't have the best legs - they are short and chunky, but one day I realised they are better than some legs out there, so I decided to stop being scared of them and now I barely cover them - I'm a definite skirts person now (sans tights with it being summer).  I just need to somehow get them tanned (Dove gradual tan works OK, but I could do with something better - like living in a warmer country) and I will be even happier with them.

Aaaand . . . the back

Anyway, I have done my usual going off on a tangent.

As I think I have said - I love this top - it is a simple sew and the fabric was lovely to sew with - a little slippy but not too much.  It took me a week to sew up, but that was doing in it 20-30 minutes bursts and not every day.  I think in total it probably took me about 2 hours to sew.  I will definitely be making some more.  I am tempted to try the hack in the book, with the button back.  I'll keep you updated on that.

Aaaand some back detai . . . sorry about the darkness - trying to get the
camera to focus in this fabric was very difficult.
You can just about see the clear button I used.

I decided against pattern matching on this one, mostly because it was a ditsy print and I didn't think there was a pattern to it as such - that is, until I tried it on and looked in the mirror - low and behold - there are slightly wider vertical gaps, which I wasn't in the slightest aware of.  I think I have got lucky and somehow managed to get these pretty central down . . . oops . . . note to self, double and triple check your fabric for direction and hidden patterns!!!
Aaaand, some shoulder detail

So, what do I love about this pattern:
1.  It's a simple sew
2.  No FBA needed
3.  Lovely fabric
4.  I love the shape - nearly perfect fit
5.  It's a quick sew.

What would I change next time:
1.  2" bodice lengthening
2.  Try the button-back hack.

In the meantime, I have another dress to start and some other projects I want to make, including some more from the Fashion With Fabric book - I have a request for the elephant costume for my niece's birthday for a start, but first my ickle sewing machine is going in for its annual service this week, so it may be quiet on the western front for a while . . . I do have some news for you though, which I may or may not share before my next project - I'll see how I feel.

Happy Crafting!


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